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Open Access item Effects of two soil reclamation techniques on the distribution of the organic N compounds in a 15N labelled burnt soil.

Authors:Castro, A.
González Prieto, S. J.
Carballas, T.
Keywords:Lolium perenne, Pinus pinaster, poultry manure, step-wise hydrolysis, wildfires
Issue Date:2007
Citation:Geoderma 137: 300-309 (2007)
Abstract:The evolution of the soil organic-N forms and their bio-availability was studied in a 15N labelled and burnt soil (BLS) after two successive reclamation steps under greenhouse conditions: a 3-month growing period of Lolium, without (BLS-L) or with poultry manure addition (4 and 8 Mg ha-1: BLS+PM4-L and BLS+PM8-L), followed by a 12-month growing phase of pine seedlings (BLS-P, BLS+PM4-P and BLS+PM8-P). The results were compared with those obtained for the homologous labelled unburnt soil (LS, LS-L and LS-P) to evaluate the efficacy of these reclamation techniques in the mitigation of the drastic post-fire changes exhibited by the major biologically available N pool in terrestrial ecosystems: the soil organic N. The significant and steady decrease of the 15N enrichment observed in the unburnt soil during the successive plant growth cycles (LS > LS-L > LSP) contrasts with the lack of significant changes, in both the content of total organic 15N and the atom % 15N in excess, among the treatments with the burnt soil (BLS $ BLS-L $ BLS-P). These results showed that: a) in LS, N mineralization proceeds faster for the recently incorporated N (15N enriched) than for the native N, supplying the growing vegetation with inorganic N more 15N enriched than the bulk soil N; and b) in BLS, soil combustion has reduced the usually higher biological availability of the recently added N to levels similar to those of the endogenous N. The re-vegetation with Lolium and Pinus and the addition of poultry manure mitigated the high differences observed in the size of the amino acid and the organic derived NH4 + N pools due to the combustion process, which are usual between burnt and unburnt soils. Conversely, these burnt soil reclamation techniques (re-vegetation and poultry manure addition), even jointly used, were unable to reduce the huge differences observed between the burnt and the unburnt soils for the other N fractions considered (amides, amino sugars, hydrolysable unidentified-N, hydrolysable organic N and un-hydrolysable N) that accounted for more than 80 % of the soil organic N. Consequently, it seems that without the introduction of N2-fixing microorganisms or plants in the burnt soils the recovery of the natural soil organic N composition will take place slowly.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.08.020
Appears in Collections:(IIAG) Artículos

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